Andaya won’t cling to House post

January 10, 2019

CAMARINES Sur Rep. Rolando “Nonoy” Andaya Jr.  yesterday vowed  to vote for his own ouster as House Majority Leader.

“I will be the first to vote that I be relieved as Majority Leader,” Andaya said after Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte called on the pro-Duterte majority coalition to oust Andaya as House Majority Leader over the delayed approval of the proposed 2019 P3.757-trillion national budget.

“Any taker for this position, I will owe him great deal. Tutal, Congress will go on election recess from February to June. There is no need for Majority Leader when Congress is in hibernation. I will be the first to vote that I be relieved. Whatever task is assigned to me, I trod on as a good soldier,” said Andaya who earlier underscored the need to scrutinize the national budget to address the alleged P75-billion insertions of Budget Secretary. Benjamin Diokno.

Ahead of the resumption of session on Monday, Villafuerte sought the removal of Andaya saying the delayed approval of the 2019 national budget jeopardizes President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s priority programs.

“Andaya does not deserve to remain a minute longer as House majority leader for committing acts inimical to the interests of the pro-administration coalition and of the Filipino people, especially of the poor who have elected Mr. Duterte to the presidency on the conviction that he would bring about real change and liberate them from generational poverty on his watch,” said Villafuerte.

“Monday should be the day of reckoning,” Villafuerte, who is a vice chairman of the House appropriations committee, said. “It is time for the majority coalition that is fully supportive of President Duterte to ask Andaya: Are you with us or against us?”

Andaya said Villafuerte and his allies are free to move for his ouster, stressing his post as Majority leader “is forced labor.”

“Gusto ko na nga ma-relieve ng duties as Majority Leader noon pa. When this was first offered to me, I begged off a hundred times. Nagtago pa nga ako.  I was recommending my good friend (Deputy Speaker and Capiz Representative) Fred Castro to be the Majority Leader. I was happy being Deputy Speaker.  Sabi ko six months lang maximum, then please release me. This job has tied me down in Manila when I should be focusing in Camarines Sur,” said Andaya.

“Many would give their arm and leg for this position. I see it however as a burden. First in, last out ka sa session. Ang konsuwelo lang, in the past six months, the House production of laws was high, in the hundreds. Daily we were clearing legislation. We have passed all the President’s major bills.  We did this without curtailing debate.  And we did not mince words when bad legislation came our way. And we were proactive and even anticipated the administration’s needs. There is no greater proof of my loyalty to the President than that.  Hindi pa nya hinihingi ang alcohol taxes, inunahan na naming ipasa,” Andaya added.

Andaya, who chairs the House committee on rules investigating the questioned budget practices of Diokno, said nobody can stop him pursuing the alleged flood control scam of Diokno and his supposed cohorts.

“Nobody, however, can stop me from pursuing the investigation on the flood control scam and other anomalous budget practices under Sec. Diokno. I will unmask his conspirators, in and out of Congress,” said Andaya.